FINDING TIME TO STUDY AN INTERIOR DESIGN DIPLOMA, WORK FULL TIME AND BE A MUMMY

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Hey guys! I'm writing this post because I've recently started an interior design diploma and had lots of people ask me about where I was doing it and how I was fitting it alongside work and family, so read on as I reveal all of my secrets (and neekiness)...

For a while I've been thinking about starting an interior design course. I knew I couldn't go to 'real' uni, the cost is far too high and the time needed to commit just isn't do-able in the real world that exists to real people over the age of 20 (slight exaggeration but defo not accessible to anyone who's not living at home), so I looked at open learning courses. I'm the main earner in our household, I work full time, I run this blog and of course most importantly I raise my daughter, so as you can imagine studying full time (at least in the conventional way) was waayyyyy off the table.

Now, as you guys may have seen if you have ever looked up interior design courses, it's one of those things that lots of people have a general interest in, and therefore there are loads of random courses that you have no idea if they are actually any good, and if they hold any weight in the industry. I mean, I don't really care what holds up in the industry to be honest, I'm just more interested in learning all I can to learn on a subject and then doing it my own way, but if there's a way to do both then of course that's the better option. So I went online and googled some interior design practices, found ones I liked, and then looked up their designers qualifications and where they studied. I found out that a couple of Daniel Hopwood's designers had studied at KLC and whaddyaknow they also did open learning courses. Boom. 

I mulled over it for a few months. I'm quite impulsive, so I wanted to make sure I was ready for it and I definitely wanted to do it. A few months on, I was ready. I signed up with March's payslip, and I've now been studying for coming up to a month. I thought it might be useful for me to share how I find the time to fit it in, so here's the truth. Here's how it really is.

It's way more work than I thought.

I don't know what I thought. Maybe naively, I thought I could handle anything. I thought it would be a piece of piss. I thought I could bang through it in 6 months. WRONG. When I worked out how many hours a week I could commit to studying, I entered that into KLC's study timetable which tells you how long it will take you to complete the diploma based on that rate of study. On 5 hours a week it said... 2021!

Cue me seriously upping the hours of study. Basically, you need to spending a few hours on this a day, at least. Plus some additional cram days, which I'll be taking as annual leave from work and making use of bank holidays.

So here's how I fit it in.

1. I don't go out socially on weekdays. If I have to do work or career related evening things then I make sure it's only one evening a week. AT MOST. I write blogs or study every night.

2. I don't watch TV for the sake of it. Jason watches it in the background but I'll work on my laptop. I will take hour breaks to watch episodes of whatever we're watching at the time (currently new series of Mad Men, obsesssssssed) and then get back to work.

3. I have an almost military-like routine which starts as soon as I get home from work. My husband and I start getting my daughter ready for bed, and as she's being bathed I'll get dinner on the go. Whilst chopping, preparing and cooking I have the laptop out and will be reading or writing. On nights that I need to blog, I do that first, and then start studying. Marley goes to bed, we eat dinner, and then I carry on till about 1030. On a 'naughty' night, I might go to bed at 11.30 (like tonight, oooh so naughty). I know I sound sad. I know some people think this is a waste of life. I get it. Maybe it is. But when I have a goal, I'm quite happy to sacrifice social things to get it done. Don't forget, I still have the weekend, where it gets super cray and I might stay up till MIDNIGHT. 

It's harder than I thought it would be

Ok not 'hard' but just harder than I thought. Scale drawing, maths again, arrrgghhhhh! Basically the only thing I'm actually finding hard is the fact I have to use maths again. I hate math. Imagine me starting at scale ruler with ultimate quizzical confused face. Yep, that's me. Every time. 

This is me being defeated by maths and scale rulers.

You need to buy lots of equipment

I'm only on the first module, and I've already had to buy:

  • A scale ruler (you are evil and I can't understand you)
  • A bunch of fine liners, and have just realised I need more of differing nib size
  • Tracing paper
  • Layout paper
  • Graph paper
  • A mechanical pencil
  • Mechanical pencil leads (who knew there was anything other than just, pencil lead?!)
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It's not been expensive, but I probably wasn't thinking that I'd need to buy much equipment. An A3 printer and scanner would be REALLY handy, but I'll go without that for now. I know I'll also need a proper drawing board at some point, and they can be a bit pricey. I don't mind spending the money, but it's held me up when I've got to a project and then realised I need a new fancy pen / pencil / ruler. In their defence there is a full equipment list on sign up but I skim read it thinking I could order as I go (which you can) but it can slow you down. I quite love having these fancy pens and shit though. My pencil case (yet to be ordered) will look fly. I'm a stationary whore. 

To round up I'm really enjoying the course. I love being a student again. I love new knowledge. It's a great price for a qualification and the information delivered is great. It's probably not as great for anyone who needs something explained in auditory or visual ways, as it is pretty much all written, but that's fine for me as that's how I process information best. It costs £156.00 (inc VAT) as a deposit, followed by 18 payments of £98.00 (inc VAT). Plus, because I signed up before the 30th April, I'm getting a free iPad mini! Score! Not that I'll have time to use it... 

Just kidding :)

If you're interested in the KLC open learning diploma course then take a look here. 

Feel free to ask any questions about the course in the comments below and I'll make sure to share some of my work as I go. 

S x

FOR AN UPDATE ON MY STUDIES CLICK BELOW TO READ THE FOLLOW UP POSTS!